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ALGORITHMS [Paperback]

Sanjoy Dasgupta , Christos Papadimitriou , Umesh Vazirani
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Book Description

24 November 2006
This text explains the fundamentals of algorithms in a story line that makes the material enjoyable and easy to digest. Emphasis is placed on understanding the crisp mathematical idea behind each algorithm, in a manner that is intuitive and rigorous without being unduly formal. An alternative to the comprehensive algorithm texts in the market, Dasgupta strength is that the math follows the algorithms. In addition to the text, DasGupta also offers a Solutions Manual, which is available on the Online Learning Center.

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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  45 reviews
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Available online for free; lacks some details and explanation 20 December 2008
By Kenyon Ralph - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The entire book is available in PDF on Vazirani's website here: [...]

The website says "draft" but it's the same or better (errata corrected) than the print version. (I accidentally bought the print version even though I knew about the PDF. At least I was able to resell it for [...])

I used this book for CSE 101 Design and Analysis of Algorithms at UCSD. It's OK, but the level of detail of algorithms was too low for me to use just this book. I sometimes had to reference Wikipedia and other publications to achieve complete understanding.
58 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a masterpiece 14 March 2007
By T. Liu - Published on Amazon.com
As a professor in a state university, I learn, teach, and research on computer algorithms. Not many computer books are a joy to read, but

this one is exceptional: It is concise, informative, and inspiring.

I don't know since when computer books are synonymous to boring, lengthy

piles of printed papers filled with screen dumps. Truely innovative

books are rare. Not only does this book explain algorithms clearly, it also tells the stories behind them.

I would consider this book a good complement rather than a substitution

to Corman et al's book Introduction to Algorithms (which is one of the

most widely used textbook for algorithm course). If you just want to

find a book where you can translate the suedo code into a program, this

is not for you. The focus of this book is to explain and to inspire (which is also what I believe the real "Education" should be) rather than

dumping the students' head with codes and rules.

I would also like to mention that the book "the design and analysis of

algorithms" is also a good one. It is good for most colleges at undergraduate level except for a few "top-level" universities.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first choice as an instructor 5 March 2008
By John R. Black - Published on Amazon.com
I occasionally teach algorithms at CU Boulder to our undergraduates. This book accomplishes what it set out to do: provide a comprehensible (but not comprehensive) treatment of a core piece of Computer Science at an affordable cost.

That we get one of the greatest researchers in the area (Papadimitriou) alongside two other distinguished authors is just icing on the cake.

The first printing had numerous errors, though the online version of the book had already corrected many of them. I haven't used the book since then, but will in the Fall, and I'd expect with the vigor already invested by the authors, the book will be in even better shape.

I'm glad they wrote this thing.. it was long overdue.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent and small choice for a textbook in algorithms 9 September 2008
By Charles Ashbacher - Published on Amazon.com
One of the most appealing characteristics of this book is the small size. Textbooks in algorithms are similar to those of other fields in that they have continued to increase in girth over the years. At 320 pages, this book is a relative midget.
However, that does not in any way mean that it is weak in content, there is plenty of material for a one-semester course in algorithms. The chapters are:

*) Prologue - a bit of history and the big-O notation
*) Algorithms with numbers - basic and modular arithmetic, primality testing and cryptography
*) Divide-and-conquer algorithms - multiplication, recurrence relations, mergesort, matrix multiplication and the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT).
*) Decomposition of graphs - the fundamental definition of directed and undirected graphs and performing depth-first searches.
*) Paths in graphs- basic algorithms used in graph searches
*) Greedy algorithms - some fundamental greedy algorithms and their basic level of performance
*) Dynamic programming - shortest paths, knapsack optimization and independent sets in trees
*) Linear programming and reductions - the definition of linear programming and some of the standard problems that it can be used to solve
*) NP-complete problems - definition of NP-complete, some examples and reduction strategies used to show NP equivalence
*) Coping with NP-completeness - intelligent search, approximation and random algorithms
*) Quantum algorithms - a brief foray into a possible revolution in computing. Explanations of how data may be stored and processed at the quantum level.

The explanations are brief yet thorough enough for advanced computer science students, the algorithms are presented in a generic pseudocode. A large set of exercises are included at the end of the chapters, the expectation is that the solutions will be expressed in pseudocode.
Despite the compactness of the presentation, this book is a worthy choice for the textbook in an algorithms course for upper level computer science majors.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great introductory text on algorithms 15 October 2006
By Z. SONG - Published on Amazon.com
This is one of the best introductory text on algorithms I've ever read. The concepts are presented clearly, the writing style is lucid, and whole book is very easy to follow. It emphasizes the ideas and insightful hints behind every algorithms, rather than the overly rigorous mathmatic proofs often found in other books. The book also includes a lot of exercises, as a complementary to the content. The side bars also provide a lot of interesting information.

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